Youths in Edo State have hailed Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for the initiative in setting up the South-South Innovation Hub and Edo Innovates, the two facilities launched recently at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), in Benin City, as a platform for youths to get trained and proffer digital solutions to everyday problem.
Recall that the Vice President during his two-day visit to the state, launched the South-South Innovation Hub and performed groundbreaking of the 1800-Emotan Gardens project.
A number of the youths at the launch expressed appreciation to the governor and the Vice President for setting up the hub, noting that it was gratifying to know that youths in the state would now have equal opportunity as their colleagues elsewhere to get trained and be engaged in a vibrant digital ecosystem that is supported by the state and federal government.
Mr. Sunday Olufemi, from Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state, said that he was most excited about the one-stop shop for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic, where young people can now have access to relevant federal government agencies to ease business registration, product certification, and access to finance and mentoring.
According to him, “I can confidently say that this is the best thing to have happened to youths in Edo State. Now, we no longer have to go to Lagos before we get training to become full-fledged start-ups. The expertise and support structures are now available for us in Edo State.”
Mr. Fred Omoregie, an undergraduate at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), said the hub is a dream come true to many tech-savvy young residents in the state, noting that they now have a viable, well-structured facility to express themselves.
He said, “I believe this will revolutionalise this state. Young people have been looking for where to express themselves for years but didn’t have such a facility that can give them a sense of direction. With this, Engineering, Computer Science graduates and others from different disciplines can now have a go at tech solutions to problems.”
WWDC: WHEN APPLE WATCH BECAME A PLATFORM
Many incremental improvements mean Apple Watch is becoming more effective for communication, augmentation and more.
Apple’s watchOS 5 plays to the strengths of Apple Watch and opens up some new and interesting ways to develop for and make use of the device.
The enterprise case for Apple Watch
Apple always says its goal with the Apple Watch is to deliver brief and meaningful interactions at exactly the right time.
This dedication to context and convenience means that when the company ships the next iteration of the OS, it will make its solution much more essential to anyone who needs to stay up to date while remaining focused on the matter at hand, or who needs to stay in touch while leaving the phone behind.
Apple Watch is becoming a viable alternative to an iPhone. watchOS 5 builds on the built-in SIM the company put inside the device last year with a series of enhancements:
- The most immediately useful improvement for most of us will be the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network straight from the Apple Watch.
- Walkie-talkie lets you contact friends and family just by pushing a button on your device, once you set them up. This works over Wi-Fi and cellular connections, and it can connect people worldwide.
- You can answer FaceTime and Group FaceTime calls as audio calls on your watch.
In combination with the device’s existing ability to dictate notes and messages, and the new addition of support for looking at websites (see below), Apple Watch has become a powerful communications tool in its own right.
There was a huge cheer at WWDC when Apple announced the introduction of Grouped Notifications on iPhone. This extends to Apple Watch, making it far easier to manage and control the alerts you receive.
The newly introduced Dynamic Notifications feature is something that both public-facing business offering front-end app support to customers and enterprise firms deploying their own proprietary iOS apps will want to explore.
This lets developers add additional steps to a notification — a restaurant may remind you of your booking and ask you to confirm (or change) your arrival time or the number of guests that should be expected. Or a ride sharing app may let you pay, rate, and tip for your ride — all from within the notification.
Finally, Critical Alerts are a new kind of notification intended for extremely urgent alerts. These need to be given explicit user permission to work and are intended to alert wearers to things such as heart rate anomalies or diabetes-related blood sugar warnings.
Siri gets lots better
The updated Siri watch face is a great illustration to show how much smarter Siri has become across all Apple platforms.
Siri will use the watch to provide the wearer with a host of additional predictive and proactive shortcuts throughout the day “… based on routines, locations and information such as heart rate after a workout, commute time with Maps at the appropriate time of day, or sports scores for a favorite team.”
What makes this even more interesting is that it will now show actionable content from third-party apps, which is great for consumer and specialized enterprise apps.
Siri Shortcuts also makes it to the new Apple Watch OS.
Apple is pushing developers to ensure the Apple Watch shortcuts they provide are to the most relevant tasks. The basis for deciding this might be time, location, or app utility (a recipe app may provide a recipe of the day, for example).
What Apple sees as critical is that these notifications are interacted with and truly represent what Apple Watch users need.
App developers need to note that when Siri decides which Shortcuts it will offer on the Siri Watchface, Siri will pay particular attention to how the user has interacted with your app in the past.
Also, you don’t need to say “Hey, Siri” to activate the assistant. All you need to do is start speaking to Siri as you raise the Watch towards you.
The intention is that you will be able to use Siri to get essential tasks done from your Watch, and you will be able to explore new ways to enhance customer and employee experiences when using your app.
The tiny web
Do you remember how Steve Jobs — when announcing the original iPhone — boasted that the iPhone offered people access to the real internet, rather than some stripped-down version?
watchOS 5 brings a little of that same delight and now integrates WebKit support, which means you can use your watch to glance at things such as web links or other items sent to you.
You can control the content, too:
- Turn the Digitial Crown to scroll the page.
- Double-tap to zoom in and out.
- Use Force Touch (a firm press) to invoke back and forward buttons you can use to navigate through your viewing history.
It’s not perfect — you can’t access video playback or web fonts, though you can use your Watch to fill in HTML-based forms. Apple will render pages in Reader Mode when that mode is available.
All the same, some people will wonder if web designers will now need to figure out how to design websites that scale all the way from a Watch to a 30-inch display.
Health and wellness
There are lots of workout improvements in Apple Watch, including auto-workout detection. Not only does your Watch figure out when you are exercising, but it will also terminate a workout once it detects the activity is over. New yoga and hiking workouts and helpful tools for runners makes the device even more useful as part of your general scheme to stay well. And Activity Sharing competitions let you invite others to compete in meeting those activity challenges.
Control Center lets you put all your toggles in the order you most prefer. You can also get to Notifications and/or Control Center while in any app.
Apple Watch users will gain a new Podcasts app. This will sync with shows, as well as stream any new shows Siri can find on your behalf. Enterprise users and developers will need to know that Apple will now allow audio from third-party apps to sync to the watch for offline playback.
Source: Computer World
THIS GIANT CASE TRANSFORMS A 35MM CAMERA INTO AN INSTANT CAMERA
NINM Lab, a new company based out of Hong Kong, has debuted a product on Kickstarter that turns your 35mm camera into an instant camera, as spotted by PetaPixel.
The attachment, called a Magny 35, is comprised of three parts: an enlarging optics film back, an aluminum lens barrel, and the film ejection unit. To use it, detach your camera’s original back, and replace it with the assembled Magny 35. When you snap a photo, it will take the image from your camera and project the light onto the instant film surface, enlarging it to 62 x 62mm in the process. Everything connects with bayonet mounts for ease and speed.
The Magny 35 has a maximum effective aperture of f/4, uses a power supply of four AAA batteries, and it has an LED film counter, a tripod socket, and a dark slide. The film ejects only when a button is pressed, so there’s the opportunity to take multiple exposure shots. NINM Lab says it should fit SLR and Rangefinder cameras made by Leica, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Pentax.
Right now on Kickstarter, the Magny 35 costs $99, and the actual cost, once it hits the market in January 2019, will be $199. While buying an Instax Mini is around $50, a model that takes square photos is more costly, so you could save a few dollars by getting a Magny 35 if you’re invested in taking instant pics. While the Kickstarter says company members have been involved in creating products in the past, none are specified. This is also the company’s first venture, so buyer beware.
Source: The Verge
WHAT SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS HAVE IN COMMON
Technological innovations have radically transformed the business landscape in many ways over the last two centuries, our research shows how digitization can significantly hurt incumbent firms in many industries, write Jacques Bughin and Tanguy Catlin in Harvard Business Review.
Technological innovations have radically transformed the business landscape in many ways over the last two centuries, from the introduction of steam power to the market conquest of radial-ply tires. Research by McKinsey & Company and the McKinsey Global Institute shows that digitization is having the same radical impact. In particular, our research shows how digitization can significantly hurt incumbent firms in many industries — depleting as much as half the revenue growth and one-third of earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) growth of companies that neglect to embrace digital innovations.
It is not too late for incumbents to reverse the digital curse and re-create a more profitable growth path if they are willing and able to invest more in digital than their peers and take the offensive by reshuffling their activity portfolios and beefing up remaining activities with new business models. On top of that, incumbents would be wise to choose a “platform play” — creating value by intermediating in transactions between other parties, such as suppliers and consumers — because it opens the way to capture more value in disrupted industry chains.
Despite the demonstrated benefits of this path, which we call “digital reinvention,” only a minority of companies have fully embraced it. In our early research on 2016 data we had found that only 16% of companies had taken steps toward reinvention, meaning they restructured their portfolios (shedding declining businesses and expanding profitable ones) and poured more money than their peers into an aggressive digital strategy based on new platform business models. In more recent research in mid-2017, our data from 1,650 firms around the world still confirms that still less than 20% of companies take the path of “digital reinvention.” We conclude that, despite warnings from ourselves and others, most incumbent firms are failing to adjust to the digital era.
Hence, our new research, which focuses on understanding how to encourage more frequent (and more profitable) digital reinvention. We found six important and statistically robust factors that predict the probability that an incumbent company will choose the path of being a reinventor. They are, in order of importance:
1. Obsess about turbulence on the horizon. In general, incumbents tend to be disrupted because they neglect signals of turbulence. On the contrary, companies that understand the degree of digital turbulence are the most eager to go on the offensive. Those in the most digitally advanced sectors, such as high tech, already feel the pressure of digitization and are more inclined to take the offensive. In our survey, we found that one-fourth of high-tech companies are on the offensive, 2.5 times more than across all firms and sectors. In contrast, the automotive industry has barely half the rate of digital reinventors.
Even more interesting are differences within industries, where the perception of risk drives action. In the high-tech industry, we found that when companies conclude that their current model is not viable and must be fully adapted (versus making only marginal digital adjustments to the existing model), they digitally reinvent themselves 40% more often than the industry average. The tipping point for action is different by industry — in high-tech, companies often make the leap when cannibalization is perceived to hit 25% of their traditional revenue; in banking, the tipping point of perceived cannibalization risk is about 35%. In any case, at those tipping points the decision becomes relatively easy, as digital rules.
2. Understand all risks, not only those from startups. One mistake incumbents often make is to look at turbulence signals only from digital entrants. But for every digital startup in an industry, there also is likely be an incumbent reinventor in the making.
Imagine a firm in an industry with nine competitors. One competitor is a digital startup within the industry, one is a digital startup from an adjacent industry. The remaining seven are incumbents within the industry. These examples aren’t purely hypothetical; they’re estimates of a typical industry structure, based on our data. Companies typically face a mix of traditional competitors, new entrants within their industry, and entrants from adjacent fields. However, we also found that, on average, three of these traditional rivals are likely to have already chosen to forcefully engage in digitization, and one of them is probably already morphing into a digital reinventor.
In total this means the company in question faces offensive attacks from three digital players, not just one, and one of the attackers is a known competitor that has chosen to break from the established conduct of the industry — the so-called “red queen effect.” Furthermore, the more digitized an industry, the more often incumbent companies have jumped into digital reinvention. From an average of three offensive players, we found that grows to 5.5, or more than 50% of total competition in highly digitized high-tech industries.
To become a reinventor itself, a corporation would be wise not only to track new digital entrants but take a good look at traditional competitors that can become digital reinventors and must keep an eye out for established companies crossing their industry border.
3. Deliver a dual offensive: core and diversification. Today, many companies have in mind to defend their core business first and attack via diversification second. A typical incumbent focuses only about 30% of its resources on activities outside its core business. By contrast, true digital reinventors devote an equal amount of resources to revising core business models and investing outside the core.
However, we found that focusing only on non-core activities may be a mistake. First, revenue and, to a lesser extent, profit growth tend to be diluted though diversification as companies take time to build a presence in each new field. Further, companies’ assets and competencies outside the core are not yet as comprehensive and established, as they are in an incumbent market. Second, as discussed, core businesses are still the bread and butter for many companies; a digital reinvention in the core may still lead to a better growth path.
When digital reinventors increase offensive actions in both core and digital, we find that total revenue as well as profit growth is enhanced. The effect is not large, statistically — it is in the range of 0.5% to 1% of yearly revenue growth on top of base line depending on industry — but the effect is three times larger on profit, and further such an increase builds up over the years.
4. Fix leadership skills first. Many incumbents still face major roadblocks in their digitization journeys. In one way, this is natural, as incumbents have succeeded by establishing robust routines and competencies over the years. In general, the more successful those competencies were at providing non-replicable assets, the more difficult it is to let them go. What we find in our statistical analysis, however, is that companies are more likely to take the path of digital reinvention when leaders are committed to taking action, e.g. CEO sponsoring the program heavily, executive board appointing specific managers in charge of the transformation, etc.
5. Prioritize demand-centered business play. We mentioned earlier that incumbents see higher returns when they shift business models to a platform play – this effect is even greater for incumbents who show the other indicators of digital reinvention. Our new survey reconfirms the finding, but we also find two new nuances. The first is that one reason why digital attackers are often more successful than incumbents is that they select the platform play as their top priority two and an half times as often as incumbents choosing to go for digital reinvention. The second is that a platform model re-centered on the demand side increases the chance of being a digital reinventor, and making better profit inroads. This recipe for digital profitability is the consequence of the potential of large demand network effects, as it is emphasized in the management literature of platforms.
6. Experiment with frontier technologies. Digital reinvention only works if companies master the right digital technology architecture. Consistent with findings in parallel research, we found that digital reinventors ensure that they have adopted the full range of digital technologies, and diffused them across their organization to support mission critical applications and processes. Further, they are already investigating emerging artificial intelligence technologies, such as upgrading machine learning algorithms to deep learning ones, or investing in new generation of smart robotics, as a way to have an edge. Surprisingly, we see no evidence of leapfrogging in our data: companies that kickstart AI without mastering the first wave of digital technologies, such as social media or mobile, are not only rare but also do not get full return on their investments. Companies must master each generation of technology, and fast, in order to become digital reinventors and obtain good returns on their technology investments.
Source: Harvard Business Review.